Sean Salmon’s Career Is Far From Over

Sean Salmon has fought nine times in 2007 with five of those fights coming in the last two and a half months. If he wasn’t medically suspended for 45 days I’m sure he would have been thrilled to make it ten.

Obviously, Salmon’s much-publicized KO at the hands (or knees) of Jorge Santiago at the Strikeforce event has been the talk of the MMA world. First, discussions surrounded around whether Salmon suffered a seizure in the cage following the KO (Salmon and his agent, Ken Pavia, deny this claim). Then, there was talk that the California State Athletic Commission would ban Salmon from competing again. Suffering two highlight reel knockout losses in one year (the other coming against Rashad Evans at an Ultimate Fight Night in January) could do that to you.

The devastating loss to Santiago, a fight Salmon accepted on five hours notice, came at a particular bad time for the former Ohio State University wrestler. He was scheduled to face Jason “Mayhem” Miller in the main event of HDNet Fights’ “Reckless Abandon” card on 12/15. Obviously, due to the medical suspension, Salmon had to pull out of the show with Tim Kennedy now slated to be his replacement.

However, in light of all the controversy surrounding Salmon he is absolutely focused on resuming his career the moment he is cleared.

I had the chance to speak with Salmon about what really happened inside that Strikeforce cage two weeks ago, how he’s feeling and if he will now rethink his willingness to fight on such short notice.


Sean Salmon – 11/30/07

Where Have You Gone, David Loiseau?

Less than two years ago David “The Crow” Loiseau lost a unanimous decision to then-UFC Middleweight Champion, Rich Franklin. No one would have ever guessed the magnitude of that loss for the Montreal native.

Once heralded as the future of the UFC’s 185-pound division, “the Crow” followed that loss with another to Mike Swick and was promptly released from the UFC. No specific reason was given for his dismissal but the general feeling was that Dana White and Co. were unhappy with his performances in those two losses.

The UFC’s loss appeared to be Elite XC’s gain as Loiseau was quickly signed by the new promotion for their debut show in February 2007. Needless to say, many predicted a return to the win colum for Loiseau in his bout against Joey Villasenor but, again, it was not to be. Despite reports that Loiseau had signed a three-fight deal with Elite, as he announced in our interview below, he is officially done with the promotion.

The 27-year-old Loiseau did get back to his winning ways in May in a solid win via triangle choke against Freddie Espiricueta at Art of War 2 and while surgery derailed his comeback he is now fully healthy and ready to finish what he once started. Loiseau also announced that he will be returning to action in January for the WCO promotion based in San Diego. His opponent is still unknown.

Take a listen below as one proud Montrealer talks to another about his career, where he’ll be fighting next and training with GSP for his bout at UFC 79.


David Loiseau – 11/30/07

(Can’t listen to the interview right now? Download this one and all of our great interviews by clicking on the iTunes or Odeo link at the top right of the page.)

Between Rounds With…Kayla

The Platinum Agency continues to provide us with the best-looking (and smart!) models around. They really are great friends.

This week, we spoke with Kayla who might be the most knowledgeable (at least when it comes to combat sports) of the bunch thus far.

The Orlando native appears to be an avid fan of all things UFC…unless she is just trying to butter us up.

Decide for yourself as we go Between Rounds With…Kayla.

Alaska’s Finest

Remember Roger Huerta’s first fight after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale show? Remember that unknown Alaskan whom everyone thought was being served up to Huerta to pad his record a little more? Remember thinking midway through the first round of their fight “who is this guy?” Well I sure as hell do.

Not much was known about Alaska’s Doug Evans (5-1-0) (throwing the punch above) going into that bout in June 2007. However, I bet a lot of fans were scouring the Internets to find as much as they could about him following it. Sure, Evans lost to Huerta but if one could ever derive a victory from a loss that fight would be the perfect candidate.

I don’t know about you but I have been anxiously awaiting Evans’ return to the Octagon  to see whether the seven-time Alaska State Freestyle and Greco Roman Wrestling is the real deal. And it looks like we’ll get that opportunity next month as Evans is scheduled to face Canadian Mark Bocek (4-1-0) at UFC 79.

That contest definitely has all the makings of a potential fight of the night as you have the wrestling champ (Evans) going up against the BJJ black belt (Bocek). These matchups excite me.

I had the chance to speak with Evans about his upcoming fight against Bocek, his first UFC fight and his background in the sport.


Doug Evans – 11/30/07

The Twister Has Landed

I’ll admit it – sometimes I like to watch boxing telecasts just to hear this line: “Let’s go to Harold Lederman’s scorecard. ‘OKAY JIM. 59-57 BERNARD “THE EXECUTIONER” HOPKINS. YOU KNOW, JIM, BERNARD’S JAB IS REALLY MOVING TONIGHT…” I just can’t get it enough of it.

So, naturally, I was very excited when the UFC starting using BJJ legend Eddie Bravo in the Harold Lederman role to share his scorecard during UFC title bouts. I thought Bravo’s presence between rounds always gave the event a ‘big fight feel’ and made it seem like we were in fact watching an important title match.

Basically, Joe Rogan is cooler version of Larry Merchant, Bravo was definitely the hipper version of Harold Lederman (no disrespect to Merchant or Lederman but, um, their better days may be behind them).

Sadly, though, Bravo stopped appearing on UFC telecasts and I was left to ponder why? So, I decided to reach out to the Twister to find out where he has been, whether the 10-point must system works in MMA and to talk a little BJJ. The man is certainly a wealth of knowledge.


Eddie Bravo – 11/29/07

(Can’t listen to the interview right now? Download this one and all of our great interviews by clicking on the iTunes or Odeo link at the top right of the page.)

Ben Saunders Is Feeling A Lot Better

One has to wonder how last night’s quarter-final matchup on The Ultimate Fighter 6 between Tommy Speer and Ben Saunders would have turned out had Saunders not been so sick. Such is the life of a fighter – especially one on TUF. Come hell or high water, if you are scheduled to fight you will, in fact, have to fight.

That said, the Orlando native ALMOST pulled a Michael Jordan on last night’s episode (remember when MJ was sick with the flu yet he still torched the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 finals). It looked as though Speer was going to submit to an armbar applied by Saunders early in round one but, alas, “Farmboy” Speer fought through the pain and proceeded to beat Saunders down for the duration of their battle.

If you’re like me and thought Saunders was going to, at least, make it to the finals, don’t worry, this isn’t the last time we’ll be seeing him in a UFC octagon. Fiveouncesofpain.com’s Adam Morgan is reporting that Saunders and fellow TUF cast member, Dan Barrera, will fight for a second time on the 12/8 TUF Finale (the two fought in the first round of TUF 6 with Saunders coming out victorious). Expect more fireworks from those two.

I spoke to Saunders about his illness before the bout, the actual fight itself and Matt Serra’s devastating injury. Take a listen below.


Ben Saunders – 11/29/07

Vas-y GSP!

We have spies scouring gyms and dojos across North America to bring you the latest in combat sports and here’s proof: Georges St. Pierre, the man who will be facing Matt Hughes at UFC 79 (haven’t you heard?) sparring with the current reigning and defending WBA Light Middleweight Champion Joachim Alcine (who will be defending his crown next Friday against Alfonso Mosquera). Be afraid, Matt. Be very afraid.

As a proud Montrealer this photo makes me all warm inside.

FightLinker Continues To Call Out Sam Caplan

Forget about GSP-Hughes III, the announcement that really rocked the MMA world this week* was Ryan Harkness (FightLinker.com) challenging Sam Caplan (fiveouncesofpain.com, proelite.com and cbssports.com) to a REAL MMA fight. No, really he did. And, yes, they are going to fight.

I had heard some rumblings that Ryan was going to challenge Sam before the end of the year and he officially did it earlier this week. Needless to say, I can’t wait to watch these two blogging legends to officially get it on.

FightLinker.com and Fiveouncesofpain.com are, without a doubt, two of the best MMA blogs out there (I would even say they are two of the best blogs period but that might sound like a bit of stretch to someone who hates mixed martial arts). Sure, Ryan talks a big game on his site but give the man credit – he is certainly putting his money where his mouth is by issuing this challenge.

Since JarryPark.com is attempting to establish itself as the leader in combat sports interviews it seemed like a natural fit to talk to Ryan about his challenge, how he plans on training for the fight and when we should expect it to go down. I look forward to having Sam come to The Park and respond.

Who’s going to win the battle of the blogs? Let us know in the comments section.


Ryan Harkness – 11/29/07

*Fine, maybe this challenge didn’t really rock the MMA world but, damn it, I am excited to see two bloggers fight!

Mike Whitehead Is Going To Manila

Apparently, Mike Whitehead can’t get enough of competing for team-based MMA promotions. First, the International Fight League and now the new Ring of Fire (not to be confused with the promotion in Denver).

Before we get to Ring of Fire, in my interview with Whitehead (found below) he officially cleared up that he is done with the IFL. However, Whitehead’s free agent status didn’t last very longer as he recently signed a two-fight deal with Platinum Fighting Productions’ Ring of Fire.

Honestly, I have never heard of PFP and their website doesn’t lend much in terms of additional information. That said, including Whitehead, they do have some familiar names on their roster (Ricco Rodriguez, Jeff Monson and Renato Sobral to name a few). The promotion boasts four different teams – Team Gracie, Team Shamrock, Team Barnett and Team Chivichyan – and will look to differentiate itself from the IFL by settling their fights in cages.

I spoke to the newest member of Team Shamrock about Ring of Fire, his involvement with the newest promotion on the block and his divorce from the IFL.


Mike Whitehead – 11/28/07

What’s Next For Bobby Southworth?

The last time MMA fans saw Strikeforce‘s Light Heavyweight champion, Bobby Southworth, compete was less than two weeks ago. Unfortunately, it came in a disappointing loss to Anthony Ruiz due to a cut he sustained in the second round. Fortunately for Southworth, though, the fight was a non-title bout so he remained champion at 205 lbs.

In speaking with Southworth earlier today, I got the sense that the San Jose Native is just itching to prove his worth all over again. This seems to be old hat for the 37-year-old Southworth.

Almost seven years ago, he accepted a fight against Vitor Belfort for Pride in which he lost via rear naked choke in round one. He never received another chance to compete in a Pride ring again.

Then came his much-criticized appearance on the first season The Ultimate Fighter in which he struggled mightily (an understatement) to make weight for his first fight against Lodune Sincaid (a fight he would win) and was involved in a few incidents outside the gym with Chris Leben. Southworth had one chance to prove himself on a live UFC show (the TUF Finale in 2005) but after losing a decision to Sam Hoger he was never seen again in the Octagon.

Needless to say, Southworth has reinvented himself as the top Light Heavyweight in Strikeforce but he will undoubtedly be forced to prove himself all over again whether it’s in a rematch against Ruiz or against the promotion’s newest signee – Renato “Babalu” Sobral.

Below, Southworth disusses his fight against Ruiz, the possibility of facing Sobral and his tumultuous appearance on TUF.


Bobby Southworth – 11/28/07